How? | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
June 2018


Note to the Teacher

This is the fifth and final week in our series of discussions about transition. We opened with a celebration of God being the constant in our ever-changing scenarios. Then we focused on the questions surrounding transition: “What? What happened? What will happen? What does this mean?” You might receive the “what? or you might need to deliver the “what?” Then there is the question of “why?”: “Why this? Why now? Why me?” “Why” is often used to challenge or derail the “what?”, though it is usually unsuccessful in its effort. “Why?” rarely has a satisfactory answer. There is also the question of “who?”: “Who will do this stuff now? Who will be responsible? Who will lead us?” Asking “who?” implies that there is a need to find someone, as there is currently no one doing what needs to be done. Once we know who that person is, we can ask “how?”: “How will he/she stack up to the person that was formerly doing that job? How will he/she treat me? How is he/she even qualified?” Asking “how?” means that we don’t always trust that God can and does do amazing things through some of the most unlikely candidates for the job. In today’s scripture, David has convinced King Saul that he should be the one to take on Goliath. The soldiers knew that the fight needed to be won, but when young David stepped out, they had to have been left asking “how?”

TimeDescription of Activity
10 min

1. Ice Breaker: How's Yours?

If our topic is “how?”, we can’t get away without a round of the classic icebreaker called “How’s Yours?” It’s a simple game to play: start with one group member leaving the room. They will be the guesser. Those who stay behind think of a common object, like a toothbrush. When the object is agreed upon, bring the guesser back into the room. One by one, the guesser asks the group, “how’s yours?” Each person replies with an answer that is true, but not too obvious. Typical answers are “I’m given a new one twice a year,” or “Mine goes really fast” (if it’s an electric toothbrush). The guesser can ask the same person “how’s yours?” a second time, if desired. The game continues until the object is guessed.

5 min

2. Read Scripture

Though David has been anointed by Samuel, Saul’s reign as king continues. He’s been losing battles, deserted by his soldiers, and not having much success. The soldiers that remain experiencing an overall feeling of low morale, and it’s reached the point that the entire army has been stymied by a single Philistine warrior. Nobody is willing to take on Goliath, until David arrives on the scene.

Read 1 Samuel 17:32-49

15 min

3. Discussion

  • Who are the three people in today’s story? What do we know about them?[1]

  • Why hadn’t anybody gone out to fight Goliath?

  • What makes David so confident?

  • David was only a boy. What did he say to convince Saul he should be the one to fight Goliath?[2]

  • What do you think about Saul’s decision to let David fight Goliath?

  • What does Saul do to try to help David?

  • When have you ever worn clothes that didn’t fit well or were otherwise uncomfortable? (Examples: pants that were too big, getting dressed up for a wedding, or wearing a costume for a school play.)

  • What was Goliath’s reaction when David stepped forward to challenge him?

  • If you had been in the Israelite army when David stepped out, what might you have been thinking?

  • Can we just take a moment to admire the “trash talk” in verses 43-46?

  • What was the outcome of this battle? How?[3]

  • What can you say about God accomplishing great things through people who don’t necessarily seem well-suited to the task?

[1] Saul is the lame duck king of Israel. God has already announced that his reign will be coming to an end because of his contempt for God’s guidance. Young David will be Saul’s replacement. Unbeknownst to Saul, David has already been anointed by the prophet. Perhaps it is this knowledge of God’s big plans for him that bolsters his faith and gives him the confidence to take on Goliath, the 9-foot tall Philistine warrior who has challenged any Israelite soldier to a one-on-one, winner-take-all battle.

[2] David explained to Saul that he was a shepherd. Part of his responsibilities was to keep his sheep safe from predators. As David had it figured, if he could kill a lion or a bear, Goliath should be no problem. Saul was convinced and, interestingly, placed the fate of the entire Israelite army into the hands of a young boy.

[3] David attributes his victory to God.

20 min

4. Activity and Discussion - Keep Your Mitts Off My Gum

Take this lesson to the next level by getting student’s involved with a fun relay and application discussion: “Get your hand off my Gum!” Complete instructions on how to make this happen are at the Youth Worker Collective online at

5 min

5. Closing

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

55 min

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